Tynemouth Plaza Arcade: Gone But Not Forgotten

Tynemouth, England: For nearly one-hundred and forty years the magnificent Victorian structure perched high upon the shores of Longsands cast a formidable presence.

071354:No Title available
Tynemouth Longsands circa 1890

Built in 1878, and originally known as Tynemouth Aquarium and Winter Garden,  over the decades it would take on many names, adapt itself to house every kind of amusement one can imagine, and create millions of  delightful memories in the minds of at least five generations of children and their families.

To the American, unaccustomed to buildings of this nature, think of it as a kind of shopping mall concept because that is exactly what it was built to function as. Tynemouth was a compartmental structure that housed many things at once over the years, depending on the decade. Restaurants, rooftop gardens, ballrooms, nightclubs, aquariums and arcades all had their day here at one time or the other.

In 1926 Tynemouth Aquarium and Winter Garden took on the name  Tynemouth Plaza and remained so for the next 70 years. Tragically it burned in 1996, leaving behind a blackened shell that was later torn down.

plaza fire
Photo by Colin Davison Photography

Over Thanksgiving holiday someone was kind enough to post some rare video footage of  Tynemouth Plaza’s arcade from 1983. In this video one can feel time reach out and pull you back into an electronic atmosphere where Monaco GP, Xevious, Sinistar and Battlezone once reigned over the senses. A world I remember. An era I wish still lived.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

3 thoughts on “Tynemouth Plaza Arcade: Gone But Not Forgotten

    1. Done and my apologies for not doing that sooner. It’s a stunning photo despite the tragedy it captures. I can only imagine how distressing it must have been to have witnessed the burning.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s